Three School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) students have won Health Officers’ Council of B.C. bursaries.Master of Public Health (MPH) student Michael Jae Song was awarded the Dr. Ken Benson Memorial Bursary, while MPH/Master of Nursing (MSN) student Kelly Newton and Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (MSc OEH) student Raymond Lam received funding from the Isabel Loucks Foster Public Health Bursary. The students took up the funding in December.
The Council states bursaries of up to $3000 are available.
Council chair Dr. Marcus Lem said the bursaries were awarded to students who had shown a commitment to the practice of public health and were pursuing further training in the academic field.
Ms Newton worked as a registered nurse for three years, and entered public health out of desire to learn more about epidemiology and a population approach to health care, she said. Working in hospitals and in direct care made it clear to her that more work was needed when it came to preventative, population-level interventions.
“These candidates all demonstrated a strong knowledge of the realities and complexities of public health practice and have demonstrated a commitment to advancing that practice in the field.”
Health Officers’ Council of B.C. chair Dr. Marcus Lem
“Public health is important to me as I see it as a means to address the root of many health problems in our society, with the ability to impact a large number of people.”
MPH/MSN student Kelly Newton
Due to graduate this year, Ms Newton said she hopes to become a leader in both nursing and public health.
Mr Song said he felt motivated to continue his commitment to learning and service in the field of public health, and humbled to be recognized as part of a community of passionate public health students and professionals.
Public health appealed to him due to his interest in mental health. A public health lens addressed the social determinants of mental health through a collaborative scientific approach, providing flexible tools to address the needs of the relevant population, he said. He is due to graduate in April.
“I am considering medicine in the future as well but I am open to options. That’s what I really like about public health. You can do a lot of things with it.”
MPH student Michael Jae Song
Mr Lam said as well as being a help when it came to entering a full-time program, the scholarship validated his decision to enrol.
He became interested in public health because of the opportunity to improve health through advocacy and protection, he said, and he was intrigued by the public interaction aspect of the field.
“Sometimes it’s not about the science, it’s about how you communicate with people.”
MSc OEH student Raymond Lam
Having previously worked in environmental health at Burnaby Health Protection, Mr Lam aims to graduate in 2018, “but as for what the future holds, I’m still uncertain. I’m just enjoying the process at the moment.”
Congratulations to all three students!